Infant & Toddler Mental Health:
Issues & Information for Educators
Instructor Name: Dr. Pamela Bernards, Ed.D.
Facilitator Name: Aumony Dahl, M.Ed.
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday-Friday
Address: Virtual Education Software
16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450
Spokane, WA 99216
Technical Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Infant & Toddler Mental Health: Issues & Information for Educators, an interactive computer-based instruction course designed to help you achieve a better understanding of infant and toddler mental health, child development, and strategies you can use to promote positive relationships with children and their families. This course provides information that will help you to understand and identify your role as a child care provider, educator, and early childhood professional. Infant & Toddler Mental Health will provide you with research-based information on early child development, attachment, temperament, and curriculum. This course also lists resources for both teachers and parents who would like more help or information about infant and toddler mental health.
This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.
Course Materials (Online)
Title: Infant & Toddler Mental Health: Issues & Information for Educators
Instructor: Dr. Pamela Bernards, Ed.D.
Facilitator: Aumony Dahl, M.Ed.
Publisher: Virtual Education Software, inc. 2007, Revised 2010, Revised 2014, Revised 2018
Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.
Aiding Honesty in Others
The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.
Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.
This course is designed to be an informational course with application to early childhood education or childcare settings. The curriculum and strategies presented are designed for children from birth to thirty-six months of age. Some alterations may be needed when working with children with sensory processing disorders or other developmental disabilities. This course also incorporates the applicable Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, in addition to the newest National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation Standards (2018), and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law on December 10, 2015. ESSA both sustains and expands the nation's investment in increasing access to high-quality early childhood education for all children. This course is designed for anyone planning programs for young children: childcare providers, early childhood educators, and healthcare or social services providers, to name a few.
· To define infant and toddler mental health and explain why it is so important;
· To discuss core concepts in early development from birth to thirty-six months;
· To explore current research on brain development, including examining conditions for healthy development and the effect of adverse experiences;
· To increase the ability to observe typically developing infants and toddlers, as well as to identify infants and toddlers with mental health issues;
· To provide information and best practice methods used in the care of infants and toddlers and their families;
· To increase knowledge in the research areas of attachment and temperament; and
· To provide resources for early childhood educators and care-providers to help them strengthen the children and families with whom they work.
The Infant & Toddler Mental Health course has been divided into four chapters that are designed to inform parents, professionals, and care providers by: providing an overview of the core concepts of early development; reviewing developmental milestones; exploring current research on brain development; examining what curriculum looks like for infants and toddlers; exploring the importance of early attachment; reviewing different temperament traits; and providing suggestions for strengthening families. Upon completing this course you should have the basic framework for understanding the critical role of infant and toddler mental health, as well as developmental knowledge of children from birth to thirty-six months.
As a student you will be expected to:
· Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.
· Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented. You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, and successfully complete ALL writing assignments to pass this course. *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
· Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.
· Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
· Complete all course journal article and essay writing assignments with the minimum word count shown for each writing assignment.
· Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
Chapter One is an Introduction to Infant & Toddler Mental Health. In this chapter we will clarify what infant and toddler mental health is, discuss why it is so important, and review three core concepts of early development. We will look at current research on brain development and discuss optimal conditions for the development of brain architecture in young children. We will also look at the life-long implications that adverse early childhood experiences have on the developing brain. Lastly, we will discuss how the interaction of biology, relationships, and environment impacts brain development in very young children, and review the core values that support the philosophy of this course.
Chapter 2: Additional Areas of Development
In Chapter Two we will look at child development from infancy to thirty-six months. We will briefly review what experts have to say about the following topics related to child development: child development theory, development of emotions, development of self, human development, SIDS, brain development, nutrition, development of vision and hearing, and finally, language development.
Chapter 3: Personal & Classroom Issues
In Chapter Three we will discuss the importance of infant and toddler curriculum. You will learn some vital information concerning curriculum, such as what is appropriate, what is meaningful, and what promotes the relationship between you, the child, and the child's family. We will review the latest information about play and how it benefits a child's development. Finally, we will discuss school-readiness and look at several key characteristics of school-ready children.
Chapter 4: Personal & Family Issues
In Chapter Four we will discuss the important role attachment plays in the development of young children. We will discuss different types of attachment and examine several risk factors that impede healthy attachment in young children. We will look at methods for fostering secure attachment. We will define temperament, examine specific temperament traits, and review research about the impact of temperament on child development. We will discuss numerous practical strategies for supporting all children, regardless of their temperament. Finally, we will briefly discuss variables such as language and literacy, culture, gender, race, and socio-economic status that may influence connections with families (these variables will be thoroughly examined in another course in this series called Family-Centered Services). We will explore ways in which we can work to strengthen families, which ultimately has a positive impact on the well-being of the children we serve.
At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and prevent further access. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam section before answering all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.
All assignments are reviewed and may impact your final grade. Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see course syllabus for policy), will affect your grade. Fifty percent of your grade is determined by your writing assignments, and your overall exam score determines the other fifty percent. Refer to the Essay Grading Guidelines which were sent as an attachment with your original course link. You should also refer to the Course Syllabus Addendum which was sent as an attachment with your original course link, to determine if you have any writing assignments in addition to the Critical Thinking Questions (CTQ) and Journal Article Summations (JAS). If you do, the Essay Grading Guidelines will also apply.
Your writing assignments must meet the minimum word count and are not to include the question or your final citations as part of your word count. In other words, the question and citations are not to be used as a means to meet the minimum word count.
Critical Thinking Questions
There are four CTQs that you are required to complete. You will need to write a minimum of 500 words (maximum 1,000) per essay. You should explain how the information that you gained from the course will be applied and clearly convey a strong understanding of the course content as it relates to each CTQ. To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the CTQ that you are ready to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay. Prior to course submission, you may go back at any point to edit your essay, but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits.
You must click SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.
Journal Article Summations
You are required to write, in your own words, a summary on a total of three peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles (one article per JAS), written by an author with a Ph.D., Ed.D. or similar, on the topic outlined within each JAS section in the “Required Essays” portion of the course (blogs, abstracts, news articles or similar are not acceptable). Your article choice must relate specifically to the discussion topic listed in each individual JAS. You will choose a total of three relevant articles (one article per JAS) and write a thorough summary of the information presented in each article (you must write a minimum of 200 words with a 400 word maximum per JAS). Be sure to provide the URL or the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the facilitator to access and review each article.
To write your summary, click on REQUIRED ESSAYS and choose the JAS that you would like to complete. A writing program will automatically launch where you can write your summary. When you are ready to stop, click SAVE. Prior to course submission you may go back at any point to edit your summaries but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits. For more information on the features of this assignment, please consult the HELP menu.
You must click SAVE before you write another summary or move on to another part of the course.
Aumony Dahl received her master’s degree in Exceptional Children from Western Washington University. She is certified to teach in K–12 Special Education with an additional endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education. Aumony began her career working as an elementary special education teacher for several years. She is currently an instructor in the Special Education Department at Western Washington University, teaching a variety of classes on topics related to early childhood special education, students with complex special needs, assessment and evaluation, and program planning. Aumony is also a supervisor for practicum students who are training to become teachers. In addition to this course, Aumony has authored other courses in this Early Childhood series—Early Childhood: Program Planning and Early Childhood: Family-Centered Services. Please contact Professor Dahl if you have course content or examination questions.
Pamela Bernards has 30 years of combined experience in diverse PK-8 and high school settings as a teacher and an administrator. In addition to these responsibilities, she was the founding director of a K-8 after school care program and founder of a pre-school program for infants to 4-year-olds to address all early childhood issues. When she was a principal, her school was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. More recently, the school in which she serves as curriculum coordinator was named a 2010 Blue Ribbon School. Areas of interest include curriculum, research-based teaching practices, staff development, assessment, data-driven instruction, and instructional intervention with exceptional populations. She received a doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University. Please contact Professor Dahl if you have course content or examination questions.
You may contact the facilitator by emailing the Professor Dahl at email@example.com or calling her at 509-891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.
If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.
If you need personal assistance then email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.
Minimum Computer Requirements
Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.
Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.
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Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.
Updated 7/13/18 JN